Women’s Basketball: With Coffey out, Northwestern picks up second straight conference win

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Source: Haley Ward/Indiana Daily Student

Northwestern’s Lauren Douglas contests an Indiana shot. With the Wildcats’ leading scorer, Nia Coffey, out with an injury, the sophomore forward led the Wildcats with 16 points and added seven rebounds, as NU defeated the Hoosiers in Bloomington.

Rebecca Friedman, Reporter

The purple and white appear to have a lot of luck on the road this week, as Northwestern held on against Indiana for a 58-52 victory in Bloomington.

Like many of the Wildcats’ games this season, the game was neck and neck throughout with NU holding on at the end for the win. The game featured nine ties and lead changes until the Cats’ free-throw shooting gave them a lead they could keep.

“It was hard fought,” coach Joe McKeown said.

The Cats needed to put in everything they had early when freshman forward Nia Coffey, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, went down with an injury early in the first half and didn’t return for the rest of the game.

“I loved how our team responded when Nia got hurt and had to go out of the game,” McKeown said. “That was the most important thing to me. Our bench did a great job and everyone responded, making hustle plays and playing big minutes.”

Though NU may have lost Coffey, they gained junior guard Karly Roser who had been out with injury.

“It was unbelievable to have her back in the lineup,” McKeown said. “She’s started every game for me since she walked on campus, and that’s why I recruited her. It was great to see her out there and it’s awesome to have her back.”

NU’s key players stepped up as usual in the Cats’ first conference road victory of the season. Sophomore Lauren Douglas led the team with 16 points and 7 rebounds, sophomore Maggie Lyon chipped in 14, and freshman Ashley Deary added 12 and 7 rebounds.

However, the starters weren’t the only ones who made a difference for the Cats. Junior Alex Cohen stepped up in the absence of Coffey with five points and 10 rebounds.

“The coaches have been preaching the whole season that rebounding is something we need to focus on, so I had to step up,” Cohen said. “It was something I needed to do.”

In order to get its third consecutive conference victory, NU will have to go through No. 12 Penn State on Sunday in Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Nittany Lions are led by guard Maggie Lucas, whose 21.1 points per game is second in the Big Ten.

“We’re going to enjoy this win for the next 24 hours and then start focusing on Penn State,” Roser said. “They have one of the best scorers in the league. We need to work on shutting them down.”

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